V.I. official gets 'special' probation for DUI


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ST. THOMAS - A high ranking government official may have an accident that she caused while heavily intoxicated erased from her record after court proceedings Monday.

V.I. Property and Procurement Commissioner Lynn Millin-Maduro, 42, pleaded "no contest" to one count of driving under the influence on Monday.

The other charges she initially faced - driving with an illegal blood alcohol level; negligent driving; and leaving the scene of an accident - were dismissed in her plea agreement.

When pleading no contest, or nolo contendere, the defendant accepts all of the consequences of pleading guilty without pleading guilty, according to V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer.

Superior Court Judge Michael Dunston accepted Millin-Maduro's plea, and then sentenced her to six months of "special probation," Dunston said.

If she does not violate any of the terms of probation during that time, the case will be expunged from her record, Dunston said.

Dunston often gives special probation to first-time DUI offenders, Frazer said.

The sentence also requires Millin-Maduro to undergo an alcohol evaluation, which is supposed to determine whether she would benefit from alcohol education.

Millin-Maduro also is required to pay restitution to the other person involved in the accident, which Millin-Maduro did.

Neither Millin-Maduro, nor the other person was injured during the accident, though both vehicles sustained minor damages. Millin-Maduro was driving her personal vehicle at the time.

Dunston also ordered that Millin-Maduro pay $500, the minimum fine for a defendant found guilty of driving under the influence in a case involving an accident.

Millin-Maduro also must pay a $500 administrative probation fee, and $75 in court costs.

Millin-Maduro, who was without driving privileges during the last three months, will regain those privileges on Wednesday.

Millin-Maduro caused a collision near the Arturo Watlington Sr. Post Office in Frenchtown on March 4.

She was detained at the time of the incident, after she briefly left the scene and then returned, according to V.I. Police.

Her eyes were red, her speech slurred and her balance completely compromised, according to the affidavit of the arresting officer, Chadka Mayers.

Her blood-alcohol level was .181 two-and-a-half hours after police arrested her, according to the lab results in Millin-Maduro's file.

Police officials never explained why they did not arrest Millin-Maduro the same evening of the incident, instead of waiting two days before arresting and charging her.

They said it was in no way a form of special treatment.

Millin-Maduro's attorney, Treston Moore, said that Millin-Maduro requested throughout the proceedings that she not receive special treatment because of her position.

"She wanted to be treated like everybody else," he said.

The last six months have been especially rough for Millin-Maduro, who has otherwise led an "exemplary" life, Moore said.

Moore also noted that the evening of the incident was Fat Tuesday, just before the Catholic period of Lent, during which time Millin-Maduro gives up a multitude of indulgences, he said.

"Maybe it was just one too many," Moore said, noting that she may have been celebrating Mardi Gras by drinking on that evening. "She's been perfect since that incident."

Millin-Maduro, who has served as the Property and Procurement commissioner since 2007, was in her office on Monday. She did not return calls.

V.I. government spokesman Jean Greaux said that he had not been aware of the court proceedings Monday, but that Gov. John deJongh Jr. was pleased to hear that the case was complete.

"The governor continues to rely on the commissioner's counsel as she performs her dedicated service to the government and people of the Virgin Islands," Greaux said.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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